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    • Day1

      Boranup campsite

      September 14 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      We set off early this morning as we were worried that the campsite would be full. Got here at noon and not a single other camper in sight. The grey clouds, gusty winds and periodic heavy downpours might have something to do with the sensibilities of other campers to stay away. Whatever the reason, it is always wonderful to have the campsite to ourselves. The rain abated enough for us to set up the tent and even heat up a most delicious Transylvanian Potato and Ham soup that very special friend kindly cooked and froze for us.
      When the rain started again after lunch, we decided to go for a drive and found a Pies and Ale house, next to Boranup gallery.
      We had coffee and cider.
      The parks and wildlife man at Calgadup Cave showed us some orchids from the car park and then we ventured across the road to the 4 wheel drive track to look for more. We found so many new orchids that we have never seen before.
      The sunset at Boranup Lookout was rather unremarkable due to the heavy cloud cover. We're now having dinner in the car as it's too cold and wet outside. It'll be a very early night for us tonight. Might even leave the dishes in the bucket for tomorrow morning.

      May the sun shine tomorrow.
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    • Day2

      Love Spring/Davies Loop and Boranup

      September 15 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      Preparing our vegetable frittata for breakfast and lunch was challenging with cheeky bold magpies who would snatch a piece of food from right beside you. After breakfast, we ventured down a track near our campsite and gathered some gumnuts to hurl towards the magpies at future meal preparations. We also found a pile of firewood which we gathered with the help of our washing up pail. Unfortunately, the periodic rain prevented us from lighting a fire this evening as we had dinner in the car and retired to the tent at 7.38pm.

      The forest was very burnt in 6.53km hike at Davies and Love Spring Road. An enormous bushfire ravaged and destroyed over 8000 hectares of forest, started 8 December last year and took 4 days to contain, and many more days to burn out. There was much regeneration where we walked today, but the devastation was still very apparent. Some giant karri trees have fallen, grass trees which require a bushfire to thrive have also succumbed some victims. It was rather infuriating to see the damages done and know this fire was deliberately lit. That and the litter on the 4WD tracks made me ashamed to be a human.

      The Boranup Drive loop is a very well maintained compacted dirt road, and it was good to leave the burnt forest behind. We had an in-car picnic lunch on a side track. Grace spotted a very unusual orchid near the toilets by the lookout.

      Margaret River Open Studios are on, so we chanced upon young Ben Edwards who does beautiful resin and wood serving boards and furniture.

      We abandoned our hike towards the Boranup Beach after 1.5km of slow ascend on a 4WD track. We shall save this for another visit.

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    • Day14

      Conto to Redgate on the Cape to Cape

      November 4, 2021 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      The Conto to Redgate stretch of the Cape to Cape walk is very picturesque and interesting because it incorporates bush, beach and clambering over boulders in it's 7 km undulating track.
      At the beginning of the walk we met a paraglider who was taking off from landing nearby. He said he preferred landing back on the landing or on the beach because there are snakes in the scrub and his gear might get entangled.
      It was coincidentally that Ruby managed to photograph the paraglider and a wedge tail eagle flying close together.
      At about the 4km mark, a cave appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Sadly there were no orchids on this walk. We were rewarded with Ruby's yummy lunch at the end of the walk, perched on a flatrock about 50m above the beach.
      We enjoyed a cup of tea at the White Elephant Cafe at Gnarabup.
      On the way back to the campsite we stopped at the Calgardup Cave to ask the guide if there were any orchids nearby. She was very helpful and suggested Bob Hollow which was a 4WD track opposite the carpark. We were amazed at how many orchids were found in a mere kilometre stretch of the track. There were spider orchids, pink enamel orchid, cowslips, sun orchids and the highly rare leopard orchid.
      We made another impromptu stop at a carpark at the Boranup Forest. It was magical to walk under the tall karri trees with an added bonus of finding pink lady orchids and donkey orchids.
      It was a wonderful way to wrap up a memorable holiday.
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    • Day13

      Orchid hunting day

      November 3, 2021 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      We set off bright and early to pickup honey from Pemberton Honey, then to Beedalup Falls for the first hunt. We found a few heading towards the swing bridge but not many. We saw pink lady, white spider orchid and a pink spider orchid. Then we went to Sue's Bridge Campgrounds to check out the campsite, we saw the highest concentration of cowslip orchids ever and Ruby even spotted a ( green hood orchid)
      We then headed to Boranup campsite to reserve a spot. A strategy told to us by Sue camphost at Warren River Campground.
      After the tent was pitched, we left for Augusta, hunt number 3. On the way, we stopped off at a gallery and that was most opportune. We met a fellow customer and whist exchanging pleasantries, the topic of orchid hunting came up. The lady drew us a map to Donavan Bushland and told us specifically where a path would be to take us to Flat Rock, nicknamed, Augusta's Kings Park where there would be an abundance of orchids.
      It truly was orchid paradise. We lost count as to the number of orchids we encountered.
      We saw lots of different spider orchids, enamel orchid, clown orchid, green hood orchid, donkey orchid and forest mantis orchid The highlight for Ruby was finding the Leopard Orchid. It took us 2.05 hours to complete that 2.5km track. It was an extremely windy afternoon, so photos of the nodding waving orchids posed an enormous challenge.
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